Crimson Reflections

Because sometimes the world is too complex for black and white
The Lolita Collective

Wardrobe Spotlight: Crowns

When May’s Bibliotheca theme, Royalty, was announced I was super excited because the print area of the classic side of my wardrobe is almost entirely made up of two things: Crowns and Books.

I thought it might be fun to look at some of the crowns in my collection. When I started off taking photos, I had a few things in mind, mostly from my classic wardrobe, but as I started taking photos of all the crowns, I started finding more and more and more crowns. In fact, I’m publishing this after midnight on the 31st because I just kept finding more and more crowns….

Innocent World: Crown and Cross Motif Embroidery OP (2003)

I have this set of the OP and cape in black and then I also have the OP in Rose Wine as well. This is one of my favorite crown pieces. It’s made of corduroy so it’s really warm and it’s comfortable to wear with the full shirring. I really wish they would re-release some of these old embroidered pieces because they can be a little hard to find. The crowns in this are also really interesting. As we go through the rest of the IW, you will see that this is a bit of a different style from the other crowns they used later on.

Angelic Pretty: Sleeping Princess Skirt (2004)

I have a surprising number of Briar Rose themed pieces. I had this really lovely storybook of her story for the computer when I was a child in the 1990s that had music and moving illustrations. I don’t remember it super well, but I remember thinking it was lovely, and it really endeared the character to me far more than the Disney ‘Sleeping Beauty’ story ever had. This skirt features a screen print that looks like a wood block print. It features sleeping beauty in her crown which looks architectural, and then at the top of the frame is another crown with 5 arches and pearls.

Innocent World: Ribbon Crown JSK (2006)

This is an embroidered ‘print’ made up of crowns, trumps and IW’s on a heavy base fabric. It’s one of my go-to dresses to wear for days where I have a lot to do because it’s very comfortable and it’s not going to bleed badly if it gets wet. There are a pair of little bow pins for the straps that I forgot to attach for the photo as well. This is a variation on a crown that Innocent world uses a lot, although this version has a little bow at the bottom. I always had thought the ribbon part of the name was referencing the bows at the straps, but looking closely at the embroidery, of course, it’s the bow under the crown!

Innocent World: Trump Rose OP (2006)

This dress is made of corduroy and had extensive smoke damage when I got it, which is unfortunate because it’s a lovely print. The crowns in this print are quite small and are in color, which is a first for this list. There seems to be a central fabric part which is green, and a cross at the top which has a blue gem set in it. And then 5 arcs down to a base set with blue and red gems.

Putumayo: Thorn Crown Skirt (2007)

Putumayo uses a lot of crowns in their pieces, as well as butterflies. This crown has 5 arches, and a surprising amount of detail given how early it is, though up close a lot of the detail is more suggested than actually crisply defined in the screen print. It’s printed in light pink, but the camera tends to pick it up as more white because of the contrast.

Innocent World: Classical Angels JSK (2007)

Here we have a very similar crown to the one that was in the 2007 Trump Rose OP, except it’s rendered much larger and with much more detail, and it doesn’t have the internal fabric. In addition to the 5 arches in the front, we can see 4 more which are in the back. There is still a cross at the top with a central gemstone, and gemstones set around the base. We also have these cross-like motifs made of 4 diamond shapes at the base inside the crown.

Innocent World: Crown Embroidery JSK (2008)

If the top (larger) crown looks familiar to you, it might be because we just saw a more detailed version of the exact same one in the 2007 Classical Angels JSK. The smaller crown isn’t identical to the one in the 2006 Ribbon Crown JSK, but it has some distinct similarities. Interestingly, unlike the earlier embroidered “prints”, whole chunks of motif on this one is connected by thin stitching lines, which I assume has something to do with the method here, and them not wanting to cut the thread / lift the needle away.

Innocent World: Emblem Embroidery JSK (2008)

I love this dress. I love this dress to the point of buying it in two colors. This dress technically has two crowns. It has the one above the crest which is a simple circlet of fleur de lis, and then the lions rampant lower on the dress also are wearing small simple crowns. It also has those little connecting lines, though they are much more subtle and I think they were worked into the design better on this one (thought I would have liked to see some of them like the one under the “I” worked into a design instead of just a straight line.

Innocent World: Beatrice JSK (2010)

I got this dress in a lucky pack and I’m so glad that I did because I probably wouldn’t have ever bought it from the stock photos which didn’t show off the border print well, but really, it’s quite lovely and charming in person. That said. These crowns are the same crown twice, and who ever drew them was probably looking at another image of a crown and didn’t understand what the back arches of the crown were. Because here we have a crown that is shaped almost like a basket. Like it has a base that is a circle, and then it has a flat lowercase cursive “m” shape in the middle. with another one inside of it. And, it doesn’t look wrong from a distance, it’s only when you really look at it, really look at the shading and the position of the little balls on the arches and the cross on the top and try to figure out where all the parts connect that it starts to get weird. This isn’t a criticism of Innocent World or the artist, just an observation. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if this particular print used old clip art / old book illustration elements that had fallen into the public domain. Also, it may have been done on purpose because it looked nicer “wrong” as part of the overall motif, than it would have if it was done “right”, which I think honestly is a common theme in some of these crown illustrations. Obviously, the embroidery ones above left out a lot of the backs of the crowns, and this 3 arches that don’t sit in space correctly motif did pop up in some of the flat embroidered crowns as well.

Innocent World: Antique Book JSK (2010)

Initially, I assumed this wouldn’t have crowns, but I was wrong. This is a really interesting piece because it’s printed to look like a tapestry or brocade with some sketchy-like elements, but it’s not any of those things. Here was have a crown on the front of one of the books and at the top of one of the keys. The book crown is simplified past being a “real” 3-D shape, but since it’s part of a coat of arms printed on a flat book, I think it’s excusable. Interestingly, it also seems to be roughly the same as the crown in Beatrice above only significantly more simplified. The key is somewhat mottled by the way the print is rendered., but it’s another many arched crown with pearls and a cross on top.

Innocent World: Charles Crown OP (2011)

Speaking of crowns that have been simplified to make them look more aesthetically pleasing, the back of this print’s larger crown doesn’t exist and these loops absolutely don’t connect to the base in any meaningful way. The smaller 3 arched crown is slightly more believable, but the dots in the inside are kind of nonsensical. Interestingly, I have a necklace that features a similar motif (flat) to the larger 5 arched crown and I do wonder if they could have used something like that as a reference.

Innocent World: Grazia Crown (2011)

Let me tell you how I lost this dress while trying to make this post. My wardrobe is two bars, one up close to the ceiling and one lower one. To be fair to my partner, half of each of our things are up higher and I circulate things up and down. A lot of my standard back shirred IW JSKs are up high right now because I haven’t been wearing them recently. We have one of those retail polls you use to get down clothes that are up high, but I lost it. Again. (It regularly gets hung on the rack between two dresses and it looks just like a hanger and then I can’t find it for weeks….). So I was trying to take the closeup photos from the ground, looking up. I looked at every hanger on the lower rack. I went and moved each dress over, skirt by skirt, like book pages on the upper rack, and I could not for the life of me find this. I was about to post this post without Grazia Crown in it, and I decided I would look one last time. It was exactly where it belonged between two other black dresses, just pushed back a little because the skirt was less full than the pieces on either side.

Anyways, my favorite crown is the one with the blue fabric on the inside, it’s such a nice rich blue. I really like how much detail is wedged into all the crowns in this one. In fact there is so much detail in this one that I suspected they were probably drawn from reference images, and probably were real crowns (unlike many of the others here which are very similar to many crowns, but so simplified it’s hard to really pinpoint them to a specific one without having deep knowledge of crowns, which I do not). They all have a distressed / dithered effect to them which makes the print look tapestry-like from a distance which is also interesting, and the colors are simplified to just a few colors (so it’s not photography).

I found an old book page being sold as a poster which has a very similar crown labeled as the Royal Crown of Sweden. Then I found yet another old book page on wikipedia from 1899 which is even more similar, and is described as: “Fig. 14. Crown of the Crown Prince of Sweden, Duke of Värmland.”

Interestingly, while those two images are quite similar, the real crown is quite a bit different. Below is Karl (X) Gustav’s Crown of the Heir Apparent in real life. Interestingly the Swedish Royal Court photo and the photo from the royal palaces, show the crown layered over two very different velvet hats. This crown was made in 1650 by Jürgen Dargeman. The story goes that 17 days before the coronation of Queen Kristina, she reminded the council that her heir (Karl (X) Gustav) was supposed to have a special costume consisting of a cloak, a crown and a cap for the coronation. Jürgen Dargeman only had a week to make the crown, so he made a plain 8-pointed base and then added enamel decorations from the crown Queen Kristina the Elder wore to the coronation of King Karl IX and stones to that base.

But that wasn’t the only crown in this pint I found in the second book I found… here is a “Heraldic Drawing of the Rudolph House Crown; later imperial crown of the Austrian Empire” from the same page.

This crown also appears on the first book page I found, where it’s much more colorful, though somewhat less accurate when compared to the real crown. Speaking of the real crown, this one was made in 1602 for the Emperor Rudolf II. I really like the blue gem at the top of this, it’s really captivating.

Next up we have this crown which is also in the second book and is captioned “Fig. 11. Crown of State of Queen Victoria. This was made in 1838.”

This crown was made for the coronation Queen Victoria, and the gems were put in for the coronation, and then later removed back to the Jewel House where the crown jewels are kept. The large red stone at the front is called the Black Prince’s Ruby, and it’s a spinel stone which is in roughly the same position in the Imperial Crown which was used for the coronation of King Charles earlier this month. The large blue stone in the front center is the Stuart Sapphire. It’s in about the same position in the current Imperial Crown, except it’s in the center back instead of the center front. The Cullinan II Diamond which is now at the front of the imperial crown became part of the crown jewels later in 1907. The center of the cross at the top of both crowns contains St Edward’s Sapphire which was originally in the coronation ring of of Edward the Confessor in 1042.

This next crown appears in both books and is captioned as “Fig. 12. Italian royal crown.”. This crown is part of the heraldry of the House of Savoy, and appears in the monogram of King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy. However, I couldn’t find any paintings or photos of a physical crown that this was based on.

Given how similar many of the crowns in the print are to the images from the second book I found, I suspect someone might have painted based on the images in that book. It’s also possible they were put through some filters and/or vector trace and then touched up, but I think it’s more likely they were drawn from reference. To be clear, any of these scenarios is totally legal and fine. This is a very old book and it’s in the public domain.

Part of the reason I think they were drawn from reference, is this next crown which is in the same style, but isn’t on the same page as the others. Granted, this is a 234 page book and maybe the crown in question appears on another page somewhere. I did find this illustration on yet another page of an old book being sold as a poster, again in German, oddly enough, and the caption for it says that it’s the crown of the Emperor of Brazil. I was having a lot of trouble finding this anywhere else. I found a color lithograph from a cigarette card of the same crown being sold as a stock photo. The caption for that image said:

Crown manufactured in 1841 in Rio da Janeiro by the goldsmith, Carlos Martin, for the coronation of the second Brazilian Emperor, Pedro II (1825-91) Emperor of Brazil (1831-89); today on display in the Imperial Museum of Brazil at Petropolis; from a series of illustrations of famous royal crowns published by the cigarette manufacturer, Godfrey Phillips, to coincide with the public interest in royalty and regalia after the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937

Bridgeman Images

The colors used in Grazia Crown do not match the colors in the lithograph, but interestingly, the colors in the lithograph don’t match the real crown well either (nor does the drawing!)

The wikipedia page for this crown shows it like this, with the left image being the real physical crown. And then, here is the same crown from a painting by Pedro Américo titled The Emperor’s speech from1872.

Lastly we have this mini crown which is used in the upper part of the dress. It’s vaguely similar to this crown which I initially found in yet another scanned book page being sold as a poster print. It was captioned as crown of princes from ducal houses. It is in the national coat of arms of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and in the cabinet seals of the Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen. However, it’s not exact, and I think whatever the source of this one was, it’s too small / simplified to match up for sure.

Innocent World: Royal Library Ribbon JSK (2012)

This dress is a book dress (my other classic print love) and I stumbled upon the fact that it also has crowns on accident when looking at the dress next to it. That, then sent me to check my other book prints, which led me to finding crowns in Antique Book. The two crowns in this one have a fair bit of detail and I did sort of poke around a little, but there are a lot of really similar crowns out there and I didn’t find anything as similar as I did with Grazia. Though, I also didn’t look at closely. I really like the foil print crown in this print by the way, it’s really lovely.

Haenuli: Sleeping Beauty (2012)

This is another sleeping beauty / briar rose print and it features two crowns in the upper portion, one of which has a nice heart gem front and center which I love. I also really like the diamonds on the top of the spikey one. The third crown is the crown on the princess’s head which is rendered in simple lines that fit well with the storybook illustrations. I believe all 3 of these are fantasy crowns, they don’t match any real crowns I’ve seen exactly, and I really like that in this print. I think they are really well suited to the rest of the print this way.

Alice and the Pirates: Elizabeth Bride of the Death JSK II (2012)

This print features Empress Elisabeth of Austria who married Emperor Franz Joseph I at the age of 16 in 1854. She was murdered in 1898, after 44 years on the throne. I showed two closeups of this print, but I don’t actually know if both are crowns. I also couldn’t figure out who’s crowns these are. Franz Joseph I of Austria’s crown would have been the one we saw in Grazia crown.

I suppose there is some similarities between this and the green crown in the print, but it’s very different and the colors are way off. I’m going to to go with they took a lot of artistic liberty with this one.

Putumayo: Stripe 2 Way Halter JSK (2012)

This print has a small crown hidden at the top of the screen print area of the skirt. Putumayo used this crown with the P cross topper in a few things, including a bag I have.

Putumayo: Crown Check Ruffle JSK (2012)

Putumayo uses crowns a lot, to the point where I always just assumed it was a lot of the same crown used over and over like internal clip art. But I was pleasantly surprised to realize that the crowns that spell out P U T U M A Y O around the skirt of this dress aren’t all identical. I also discovered that this dress had a printing error that I didn’t know about before today despite having owned this dress for a decade…

The main big crown in this print is the Heraldic version of the St Edward’s Crown of England, by the way and it’s one of the most common crowns in all my pieces.

Alice and the Pirates: Briar Rabbit’s Paysage JSK II (2013)

The main crown in this print, is crowning wings and is absolutely glorious, and the crown on the little bun is quite cute as well. I would assume these are both fantasy crowns.

Alice and the Pirates: Royal Crown Tea’s Package (2013)

One of these main crowns looks like the Royal Crown of France and Navarre, as seen in the heraldry below while the other looks like the heraldric rendering of St Edward’s Crown of England, again, which is very commonly used as a generic crown.

Excentrique: Original Print Crown and Lion Motif JSK (2013)

This excentrique dress is heraldry themed, yet is surprisingly light on crowns having just these two simplified examples.

Angelic Pretty: Day Dream Carnival Tiered JSK (2013)

Of all the things in my wardrobe to have crowns, this carousel print was not the most surprising, but it was up there. The crowns are hidden in the little cameo-style circles.

Angelic Pretty: Wonder Queen Soldier JSK (2013)

Here was have a crown I would assume is either specific to a very specific heraldry or a fantasy crown on top of a shield as well as variation on the heraldic version of St Edward’s Crown of England again

Innocent world: Union Jack JSK (2014)

If you told me the emblem in the middle here was a British emblem that IW had stuck and IW in the middle of, I would absolutely believe you. Except, I don’t think it actually is. I’m sitting here past midnight with my copy of the complete guide to heraldry by A.C. Fox-Davies first published in 1909 (my copy is from 1961) and I can tell you that we have a pair of lions rampant, but not if this coat of arms belonged to any specific source before it ended up on this dress.

The crown at the top of this coat of arms looks suspiciously like the heraldic version of the Royal crown of the King of Sweden, which is far more elaborate in real life. The coat of arms of Sweden isn’t identical to this, their lions are rampant regardant, aka, looking the opposite way, but it is pretty similar. It could be another similar coat of arms, or it could just be a made up one. Either way, it’s interesting that it’s not the British one with the lion and the unicorn.

Angelic Pretty Crystal Dream Carnival Premium JSK Set (2014)

The crystal pillar is wearing a crown. I can’t make this stuff up.

Angelic Pretty: Lucky Key JSK (2014)

You would be entirely justified in thinking a print called lucky key would be of keys, and not crowns. In fact, I glanced at this dress several times while taking photos for the post and said “just keys, no crowns” to myself. Because, you see, it was on the top rack above my head and I couldn’t see the whole thing and the crowns are hidden or higher up on this one.

Angelic Pretty: Merry Bunny JSK (2015)

It’s not christmas unless the bears are wearing crowns, I guess.

Angelic Pretty: British Bear JSK (2015)

I really don’t have much to say about this one other than it’s quite cute, and that green crown looks like another variation on the heraldic version of St Edward’s Crown of England again.

Angelic Pretty: Chess Emblem JSK (2015)

I forgot this dress and it’s too dark to take a full length photo. To be fair, I think of this as a chess print, but I mean, the chess pieces are wearing literal crowns here. The weave of this dress is pretty open, so there isn’t a lot of clarity of the details. Aside from the two chess pieces which are wearing crowns there are also crowns in some of the heraldry, but they are really small and kind of blobby because of the tapestry-like look they got from the open weave of the fabric and the art style of the printing. The red crown is probably based on one of the British ones, it has the Black Prince’s Ruby in the front center there. The pale colored one I’m less sure of.

Angelic Pretty: Cirque du L’Étoile JSK (2016)

Honestly, I was surprised how few crowns were in this print given how much heraldry it has going on. There is just one crown with a giant star in the center of a cross on top and additional stars around the circlet part. I really like that AP made this crown their own.

Angelic Pretty: Toy Harmony JSK (2017)

This print has no reason to have crowns in it, it’s a toy print. So of course it has 3. There is a crown on the tambourine, on the bear grandfather clock and at the top of the frame around this weird golden gummybear. I… I can’t explain this one.

Angelic Pretty: Princess Rococo JSK Set (2019)

I bought this set on a whim at Tekko a couple years ago and I’m so glad I did because it’s become one of my favorite crown pieces. Not only is the art on here absolutely stunning, it’s really flattering and comfortable. There are several crowns pictured in this print. One of them looks like the heraldic depiction of St Edward’s Crown of England, the others may be invented by AP or may just be crowns I’m less familiar with.

Angelic Pretty: Dolls Collection JSK (2021)

I believe this is my newest crown print piece. I bought this from AP in 2021, and I just really love how sweet the royal bun and bear are. I believe at least one of these crowns is fully made up (the one with the stars in it on the bear), but I’m not 100% sure. I really like the detail and how they handled the ear situation in this print.

Crown Accessories

It’s late and I didn’t really want to photograph every crown in every accessory. I would have been taking photos for years! But I did want to highlight a few of my favorites.

Especially the two flat crown charms. The one with the bow is from IW and is very similar to how they drew one of the crowns above. The other is from Claire’s, I think, but it’s very similar in concept to the crown in Charles Crown, so I do wonder if that was based on a flat charm like this.

At the bottom here are two takes on a mini crown. IIRC, left is by Caro of Fyeah Lolita and features florals and a bird inside a basket-like crown, and right is a pleather concoction from SPICA.

I hope you enjoyed this rabbit hole of increasingly obscure crowns in my wardrobe and as it’s nearing 1am, I’m going to give up and go to sleep. I’m sure I’ve missed something…

What is your favorite crown across all the crown prints? Do you have a favorite crown print piece? How about a piece with hidden crowns?

3 comments on “Wardrobe Spotlight: Crowns

  1. Wow…this was AMAZING! Thank you for sharing, I think I learned more about crowns today than I ever knew before.

  2. Wow, that’s a great collection of crowns! I find even more interesting that you could find the originals to many of these illustrations ^^
    I love how IW keeps their crowns somewhat consistent, I have only one item with crowns (it’s a IW necklace) and it also has this poofy king-crown style, it’s my favorite!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing and doing so much research! It honestly never occurred to me that the print illustrations could be of actual crowns. This was such a treat to read, and your method of using layered racks with garment hooks is giving me some ideas 😈

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